CH.LXXIII SHORT-LIVED ZAND DYNASTY 371 with unheard-of barbarity, made pyramids of heads of his own subjects/'l He despatched a force to Kalat-i-Nadiri which massacred all the members of the family of the Great Afshar and seized upon his treasures. An excep- tion was made in favour of Shah Rukh Mirza, a boy of fourteen, who was the son of the unfortunate Riza Kuli by Fatima, daughter of Shah Husayn. Adil Shah, after a short, inglorious reign, was dethroned and blinded by his brother Ibrahim, who in turn was defeated, made prisoner by his own troops, and put to death when on the way to Meshed. Adil Shah was also put to death. Shah Rukh.—Shah Rukh then ascended the throne. It might have been thought that his descent and noble qualities would have made his rule universally acceptable in Persia, but a rival appeared in the person of Mirza Sayyid Mohamed, son of a leading doctor of the law of Meshed. This mujtahid* had married a sister of Shah Husayn, and his son, by raising the cry that Shah Rukh intended to continue his grandfather's policy of subverting the Shia doctrine, collected a force which defeated that of Shah Rukh. The monarch was taken prisoner and blinded ; but Yusuf Ali, his general, in whose absence he had been overpowered, appeared on the scene, seized the pretender, who had taken the name of Sulayman, and after blinding him put him and his two sons to death. Shah Rukh was restored to the throne, with Yusuf Ali as Regent. Very shortly after this settlement two chiefs, Mir Alum Khan and Jafar Khan, commanding respectively a body of Arabs and a body of Kurds, de- feated Yusuf Ali, and of course blinded him, while the ill-starred Shah Rukh was relegated to prison. Needless to say the two chiefs speedily quarrelled, Mir Alum was the victor, and the vanquished Jafar Khan was added to the long list of blind men. Ahmad Shah, who had rapidly consolidated his power, had advanced from Sistan on Herat in A.D. 1749- Shah Rukh had despatched Yusuf Ali to meet him, and it was during his absence on this duty that the Shah had been 1 Hanway, iL p. 451, 8 Mujtoted signifies literally " one who strives (after knowledge)."